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Chris Magyar

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You’re right, Diary, this “Dear Diary” trope is already old.

I’ve never been stoned, but I don’t think I’m missing much. I’ve been high on X, I’ve drunk myself into unsafe stupors, I’ve chain smoked until I coughed up ash, and I’ve stayed awake for multiple days until I’ve hallucinated. As it looks more and more like some sort of limited or unlimited legalization of marijuana is likely within the next five years, I’m bracing myself for a shift in the volume of pot references in popular culture. Already ubiquitous, I imagine we’ll go beyond portrayals of illicit giggles and pseudoprofundity to arrive at more and more accurate portrayals of the stoned experience in pop culture, and I intend to learn what I can from these, as a blind man might learn color through patient and inadequate description.

I’m allergic to pot, so I definitely can’t smoke it. The two times I’ve tried it, my airways have constricted so alarmingly upon the first toke that I’m not in any rush to give it another go. I had a brownie once, and mostly felt like I had an itchy throat that wouldn’t clear for the remainder of the evening. “You’ve got to smoke a while before you have enough THC in your system to get high right away,” I’ve been told by well-meaning partakers. So there’s no point in continuing to take small sips in the hopes of glimpsing the experience without ending up in the hospital. 

V has me watching “Weeds,” and we’re halfway through the third season, which seems to be a shit-hitting-the-fan portion of the overall story arc. This is going to sound ridiculous coming from someone who’s never been stoned, but I’m surprised at how little the show is about getting / being stoned, with the exception of one episode that takes place at a grower’s convention. It’s to the point that I wonder if the series creators even smoke the stuff (though I’m not curious enough to look it up on the web). Is this maybe the beginning of the post-legalization portrayal of pot I’m looking forward to? Not really: if the show’s about anything, it’s about the illegality of dealing drugs, and the morally ambiguous characters who gamble in it. Like “The Wire” with punchlines. 

As one might expect from someone who’s allergic to pot, I kind of hate it, and I’m kind of annoyed by its prominence in American comedy. I get it. Pot makes shit funny. But my experience with real life smokers (of the variety who overdo it; casual and semi-professional marijuana enthusiasts tend to keep it together) is that shit gets funny because the brain gets stupid. It’s similar, from the outside, to how booze makes people horny by way of making them depressed and lonely. And it’s fun to laugh at pot-heads for about as long as it’s funny to laugh at drunks — just until the pathetic starts to show. Why must entire movies be built around the silliness of being high? (Answer, of course: same reason entire movies are built around the sappiness of being in love: we all desire an extended experience of what is, in real life, a fleeting emotion.) (PS, double-colon-parenthesis combo!) I don’t mind when one scene in a comedy rotates around smoking up, especially if the humor comes from unexpected corners, but please don’t make me watch James Franco do Spicoli for 90 minutes again. Please.

Also — and again, you can chalk this up to being allergic to the shit — the smell of pot smoke is 10x more penetrating and nauseating than cigarette stench. I look forward to legalization so that I may join the ranks of obnoxious squares who wave away smoke. Right now, if you scold or stink-eye a dude for his pot smell, you’re a narc. I don’t want to be a narc. I want to be a regular old bitch who’s trying to preserve the purity of my own personal airspace (you know, keeping it fresh for the wafting of my only-when-drinking tobacco exhalations). “People need to breathe here, you know.” “Yeah, well what are you doing at a Dave Matthews concert anyway, narc?” “Good point.”

And I think it looks ugly. Big untrimmed buds look like naked pinecones or frilled turds. Baggie weed looks like pistachio pipe tobacco with green tea leftovers mixed in. A hand-rolled joint looks like an undersized and uncircumcized cigarette. Bongs look like pool cleaning equipment stained by too much chlorine. Glass pipes look like field equipment used to take moss samples from jungle branches. It’s all ugly, and I hope that when it becomes legal there’s a redesign from Apple of the entire culture. I know that’s precisely the thing that a portion of the marijuana-loving culture fears the most, but I welcome a little corporatization of pot. It might remind us all that it’s just a recreational drug used for self-medication even though it also has hazardous health side effects (don’t start; it can easily be abused to the point of being dangerous and you know it), and we can move on with life.

Daniel Tosh has a great bit that sums up my feelings on marijuana: “I can’t wait until it’s legal. So potheads will have nothing to talk about. Grow up and do coke like an adult.” (Though I really hate that coke has even kind of a rebellious positive image, but if I go off on that in the same post as this pot rant I might end up talking myself all the way into the arms of Dr. Laura Schlessinger.)

To sum up:

  • Marijuana should be legal. If you live in California, please vote for that. And none of this backdoor medical stuff anymore; like, let’s just fucking legalize it.
  • Marijuana is the most obnoxious drug in my world.
  • “Weeds” is okay.
  • It’s hard to write blog entries without poop jokes in them.
  • I shouldn’t buy tickets to see Dave Matthews.
  • Dr. Laura is a bitch.
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